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Friday, November 2, 2012

SERVANT LEADERSHIP: CHOOSING DUTY OVER VEGAS AT 3 AM






The phone rang.  For many, it is an abominable burden to arouse oneself from slumber to answer a pesky communication device.  The phone rang again.  Pried from the natural regenerative fruits of sleep, many of us would seize the device with utter contempt and answer groggily with disdain or with braced expectation of the worst. It is universal in understanding that none would bother another in the midst of slumber unless the matter was an urgent one.  The phone rang for the last time.  Life matters. 


On September 11th, 2012, there was no answer at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC.   It is this silence that disturbs American voters.  Some political pundits laud the brilliance of President Barack Obama in marshaling his administration’s managed response to attacks on the United States consulate at Benghazi, Libya.  Yet, this glory is a sheer veil.  Four Americans died on American soil in a foreign land on September 11th:  U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other members of his diplomatic mission, U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith and U.S. embassy security personnel Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.  When they called at 3 AM, neither Obama nor Secretary of State Hillary Clinton answered.  Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the military didn't send forces in during the attack on the U.S. Consulate because there was "no real-time information" to act on. He advised that "You don't deploy forces into harm's way without knowing what's going on" and military brass "felt we could not put forces at risk in that situation."  Three times, an American called upon the powers that be to rescue them from unenviable fate.  Thrice, the response was silence. 



"The election has nothing to do with four brave Americans getting killed and us wanting to find out exactly what happened," Obama said in an interview with KUSA, the NBC affiliate in Denver on October 26, 2012 (http://www.politico.com/politico44/2012/10/obama-election-has-nothi...).  The truth is that it does.  It is not optimal to have Benghazi-Gate alive and burning ever-increasingly on the eve of America’s most important election in a century.  Servant Leadership is absent the Obama Administration.  Servant Leaders possess awareness and foresight.  Obama appears blind to the impact that his absence of leadership--the optic of the trip to Las Vegas rather than remaining at the White House—has had on this election and his campaign.  According to Pew Research, an accurate 2008 Election assessor, polled Obama with an 8 point ahead of Governor Mitt Romney (51 to 43, Among Likely Voters).  Today, Romney polls ahead (49 to 45, Among Likely Voters).  What happened?  Benghazi-Gate happened.  Even more oblivious that the jailing of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula seems more scapegoat than justice.  Death and destruction exchanged for a protest video?  Obama failed in foresight.  He lacked the ability to understand current reality and identify future consequences.  Having served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he seemed dim of caution in preparing for potential enemy attacks while America observed September 11 Memorials.  The Viet Cong Tet Offensive or the Greek’s Trojan Horse Attack never came to the community organizer’s sans Commander-in-Chief’s mind.  Worse, The State Department did not spend $2 billion to prepare US embassies and consulates around the world for radical assaults.  Military presence was not increased.  As servant leaders, Obama, Clinton and the Administration failed.  Unlike his failings in green energy pursuits like Solyndra and A123 Systems, this failure actually cost American lives.


Americans are looking for a leader that is willing to take charge rather than lead from behind, do what is right rather than politically expedient and oversee rather than avoiding the confrontations impending fiscal, military and diplomatic crises on the horizon.  Benghazi-Gate reveals both weaknesses in character and in execution.  "I find it astounding," former US Presidential Candidate, Senator John McCain told Fox News. "I find it a lack of leadership, a lack of understanding, either before or during this attack."  Leadership is not merely a position one pursues for vainglory, economic compensation and privileges and powers.  Blame Congress!  Blame Hillary!  No.  The buck stops at Obama.  Mitford M. Mathews, A Dictionary of Americanisms on Historical Principles, writes, “The saying ‘the buck stops here’ derives from the slang expression ‘pass the buck’ which means passing the responsibility on to someone else.  Democrat President Harry Truman referred to this concept very specifically in asserting that, "The President--whoever he is--has to decide.  He can't pass the buck to anybody. No one else can do the deciding for him. That's his job.”  The Campaign offers the President a stage upon which he can either command accountability for himself and others or trifle with assigning blame upon imaginary provocateurs and withholding justice even from his own Cabinet.


Americans on November 6th, 2012, will select an individual to serve this Nation as President.  The role is inclusive of the duties ascribed a Chief Foreign Policy Specialist, a Chief Executive Office and a Commander-In-Chief.  The role requires a man or woman that is empathetic to the cries of the people-- especially those that volunteer to be placed in harm’s way--and seeks the best solutions for the overall good of the Nation’s people.  Americans for years have elected politicians that have not seen a moral value that they cannot sell for a campaign donation or committee seat.  Americans are looking for men and women of character to righteously execute the affairs of “We the People” on a daily basis.  Leaders lead in crises from positions of strength and not weakness.  If not Obama, Romney will provide what the Nation needs.

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